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When & How to Follow up After an Interview? 4 Key Points To Keep in Mind

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25th Feb, 2021
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When & How to Follow up After an Interview? 4 Key Points To Keep in Mind

You have completed a certification, let’s say from upGrad’s courses, and you have landed an interview. The interview day comes, and you have nailed it. But what if you don’t get a response from the interview for a few days or weeks. Does that mean the position is filled up and your application is rejected? Not exactly. Instead, it could mean a massive influx of candidates for the job, and the interviews are still going on. It can also mean that your name might have slipped from their mind.

If you haven’t heard anything for a few days or weeks after your interview, it’s time to follow up. This post details how to follow up appropriately without being pushy and like a pester. But before going into any further details, it’s essential to know why following up matters.

Why Following Up Matters?

There are numerous reasons for following up after your interview. The primary reason, as mentioned earlier, is to remind the recruiters. Even the interviewers and recruiters are human and might forget that they had to return to you with a response. In such a scenario, following up will help refresh their mind and get you the offer letter.

Another reason is that following up with a thank-you note shows courtesy. Lastly, it helps show your passion and enthusiasm towards the role and the company. Passion and enthusiasm are something that recruiters always look for in interviewees.

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How to Follow Up?

Before delving deep into how to follow up, it will help if you know the following points:

  • Email is the best medium to follow up as it doesn’t seem too pushy.
  • Always start by following up with your scheduled HR interview.
  • If HR does not respond, you can try to connect with the recruiting manager.
  • Always ask for the next steps or the date by when you can expect a response before leaving the interview (helps to identify the right day to shoot a follow-up email)

Sending out the Thank-You Note

Whether or not you have stood out in your interview, sending a thank-you note will surely make you different from the rest. It is a simple yet generous gesture of thanking all the interviewers for their time. An Accountemps survey found that only 24% of HRs receive thank-you notes, while 80% say that these notes can help them as a part of the review. Hence, not sending a thank you might hurt your chances of getting recruited.

The best time to send a thank-you email is between 24 to 48 hours of your interview. It will help if you try to send out thank you to all the interviewers. However, if you don’t have enough information, such as the email address and name of all of them, at least send it out to HR.

You can send the thank-you email on the same thread that used to schedule your interview. Keep the email short. Start it by addressing the recipient with his first name and greetings for the day.

Personalize the greetings according to the recipients. In the main body, highlight one specific thing that you have learned about their company or something that will help you in the future. Lastly, show your enthusiasm towards the opportunity and that you are awaiting their response. You can find some thank-you email templates online for your reference.

The First Follow-Up Email

If you had a date when the recruiters were supposed to decide, don’t send a follow-up right on the next day. There are possibilities that interviews would have stretched, and they cannot resolve within the given time. Hence, always wait for three or four days after the given date to send your first follow-up email.

Follow the email etiquette rules to draft your email, especially keeping it short and to the point. It should have a relevant subject line that is concise. The subject lines will determine if and how quickly your email gets opened up. You can reply on the same thread and keep the same subject line so that the interviewer knows that the email is coming from a known person. If you opt to create a new thread, try using the “follow up” word in it.

Start your email by addressing the recipient and greetings as you did for the thank-you note. The next line should mention the job title along with the date interview you. It will help freshen up their memory. In the main body, let them know that you are still interested in filling the position and your excitement about working for them. Finally, ask for an update directly and say that you are waiting to hear back.

The Second Follow-Up Email

Most likely, you will get a response to your first follow-up. If you get the update, reply with a thank-you message for that. But if there’s still silence after the follow-up email, wait for another week or two and send another one. This time, all you need to do is reply to the same follow-up email and let the recruiter know that you are writing to update your application’s position and status. If you still don’t receive any response, you might want to connect with someone else in the company.

The Feedback Email

If you get a response stating that you weren’t selected for the role, it is always helpful to get feedback from the recruiter. Write a feedback email with the same initial steps: relevant subject, addressing and greeting the recipient, a thank you, and the body.

In the body, let HR know that you enjoyed the process and then ask for constructive feedback to help you with future interviews. Don’t expect all recruiters to spend time and give you feedback. But even if you get a few tips, it might help you in the coming future.

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Also Read: What To Do’s an Don’ts at Job Interview?


Waiting curiously for your interview outcome is very hard, but you should not seem too pushy, or it might hurt your application. Always give some additional time to the HRs than the said date. Taking the right steps and following up the right way can help you get the offer letter you are longing for.

Learning online has become more relevant today than ever before. If you’re interested in learning online, you can get a course and start your journey today. Checkout upGrad’s top courses in Data ScienceMachine LearningDigital MarketingMBA & Full Stack Development.


Dilip Guru

Blog Author
He is a Growth Hacker, Digital Marketer & Blogger. He loves solving problems of scale and long term digital strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How to prepare for an interview?

An array of factors affect one's success in the interview. One should spare no effort to gird one's loins. Begin with reviewing the job description. Try to find the recruiter's expectations and align yours with the needs. As homework, examine in-depth about the company or recruiter, its services, clients, latest revenue, etc. Felicitously prepare the probable interview questions. Practice them multiple times beforehand. Knowing the questions and answers does not suffice the needed preparation. For the pursuit of clearing the interview, one must practice it as a mock interview. Organise the documents ahead of time to avoid the last-minute hustle. Employers are often keen about the social media platforms of the candidates, which necessitates streamlining and updating the social media profile.

2What does the recruiter judge in an interview?

Depending on the resume, candidates for interviews are selected. The information gained from the resume is put to the test in the interview phase. The interviewer adjudicates the communication skills of the interviewee. In some organisations, the writing ability test also forms part of the interview. While interacting, the interviewer assesses the candidate's listening power, attitude, and confidence. Some questions are generic, while others are subject or work-related to evaluate the personality traits and the knowledge. Conditions-based questions are asked to determine leadership skills, decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking ability. Socializing during the interview is to make the interviewee comfortable so that one can open up and interact sanguinely.

3What to do after an unsuccessful interview?

As said, 'failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be'. Failures are the ladder to success. One learns from failures, not from success. So when the interview wasn't on your side, it is okay to be disheartened, but it is imperative to take in the mistakes and refine. Be gracious and acknowledge the faults. Reframe the thoughts. Making it to the interview means you are eligible just need some polishing. In-hand experience of the interview makes one acquainted with something new. Keep adding these new experiences of success and failures to meliorate your skills.

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